IF THE Ilkley Trophy has proved one thing this week, it is that young British tennis talent is not confined to shock US Open winner Emma Raducanu.

Take for example LTA National Academy Scholar Ranah Stoiber, who puzzlingly says that she prefers clay but loves grass.

The 17-year-old from Middlesex has certainly proved the second half of that statement to be true at Ilkley Lawn Tennis & Squash Club by coming through two rounds of qualifying and now reaching the second round of the Women’s World Tour event.

Ranked 1,177 in the world, the Londoner had already beaten qualifying top seed Else Jacquemot of France and fellow Briton Naiktha Bains.

But yesterday the teenager with the big serve and the fearless attitude claimed her biggest scalp yet on her $100,000 tournament debut, defeating experienced American Jamie Loeb 7-6 (7-5), 6-3.

The 27-year-old has been on the tour for seven years and is world No.209, yet had no answer to Stoiber’s punishing first serve and athleticism, which frequently led to her getting back into rallies.

Stoiber said after her accomplished display on Centre Court: “Yeah it was a big win. She’s a high-ranked player. I felt like I had no pressure so I just went out there and did my thing.

“I started the match off really well with my serves and I feel like that kept me in it and I just flew right through it to be honest.”

Stoiber will hopefully take that devil-may-care attitude into her second-round match against fourth seed Daria Snigur of the Ukraine.

Hoping to follow Stoiber into the last 16 today are five more British hopefuls, including Mingge (Mimi) Xu, the powerfully-built 14-year-old who won the LTA National 18 & Under Championships in April at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton.

She faces experienced Belgian Yanina Wickmayer, while Maia Lumsden, on the comeback trail after Long Covid, faces 21-year-old Swiss Simona Waltert.

Jodie Burrage, 23, meets the in-form Arina Rodianova (Australia), while 20-year-old Sonay Kartal faces Arianne Hartono of the Netherlands.

Lily Miyazaki is up against second seed Kristina Mladenovic, the second seed from France who recently won the French Open women’s doubles with Caroline Garcia.

Lumsden’s fellow Glaswegian Anna Brogan could not quite pull off another win on Centre Court, losing 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 to third seed Katie Volynets (United States).

While wins among the men at the $125,000 ATP Challenger event have been harder to come by, one was guaranteed yesterday in a clash between wild cards who have come through qualifying in Dan Cox and Charles Broom.

Lincolnshire’s Cox, who took three years out of the sport (2017-2020), beat Broom in front of a packed No 2 Court 7-6 (7-1), 7-6 (7-1).

Cox admitted of the match; “It was really difficult. We both know each other very well and I think we are both playing very good tennis at the moment.

“We were going toe to toe and it was a really exciting match to be involved in and (I am) just really pleased to come through it in a tight one.”

Cox now meets fellow qualifier Zizou Bergs of Belgium.

But there were defeats for Felix Gill and Aidan McHugh, with Gill bowing out 6-3, 6-3 to fourth seed John Millman (Australia) and McHugh 6-3, 6-4 to Canada’s Vasek Posposil.

Meanwhile, men’s top seed Jordan Thompson (Australia) was beaten 6-4, 7-5 by Portugal’s Nuno Borges, which really opens up the top half of the draw.